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JKL last won the day on September 10 2017

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  1. @jrockford27 is right. Contact the grad administrator. I'd also ask my professors.
  2. First things first: Don't feel like an idiot. It's not you; it's the genre. These things are difficult and take a lot of time to write. Don't get too exhausted. Take a break. Go watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix. Play an instrument. Make your bed. Rearrange your bookshelf. Just do anything that doesn't require a lot of thinking. Then get a fresh cup of coffee or tea and come back to the computer. The SOP is above all else a moment for you to tell a department how and why you fit their program well. It's a two-page elevator speech. Reflect on why you're pursuing American li
  3. Earning a PhD after 9 years means you can tell people you graduated from the 27th grade.
  4. No. Every school has its sins and controversies. I might disagree with one of the school's positions on an issue, but that's no reason to avoid the school altogether. I disapprove of Harvard allowing a leaker of classified information into it's program. But I also disapprove of Berkeley's position on the Ben Shapiro fiasco. These are still great schools with great research facilities. We should act like adults who can handle criticism toward our interests and not like children who weep for the safe space of Mommy's arms every time they get their feelings hurt.
  5. I suggest reading David McCullough. As far as historical non-fiction goes, his prose style is unmatched. It's clear, concise, and effortless. Also, get a copy of William Strunk Jr.'s The Elements of Style and William Zinsser's On Writing Well. Amazon sells them used for less than two dollars each. They will be your sacred scripture.
  6. Ignore it for now, but include it next time in the "writing expectations" portion of your syllabus. Not only should students apply standard American English, but as a matter of prose, +JMJ+ and PBUH are needless words that students should omit. But if +JMJ+ and PBUH somehow contribute to the argument (perhaps a paper on the evolution of religious acronyms?), then it shouldn't be a problem. As @Sigaba mentioned, if you address it now, students will feel that you're picking on them. You'll inventively get called a bigot for discriminating against them. Then you'll get a call from HR, and yo
  7. I always start feeling guilty when I participate in social events or hang out with friends. I think, "You should be writing now. Yeah, you should definitely be writing now."
  8. If pursuing a PhD is your goal, then an online MA is probably not the best option. Most academics treat the online MA as if the institutions offering them are unaccredited and not worth anyone's time. That you received your MA online shouldn't matter so as long as you produce substantive research. If you go the online MA route, just know that the PhD admissions committee will likely laugh you off the stage. But here's an important point: Give them good reason not to dismiss your application. Academics love to talk about having students from diverse backgrounds, yet they almost always give
  9. What's worse is that we'll never know if he actually committed espionage. The Iranian government is known for a lot of things, but practicing the theories of due process and innocent until proven guilty aren't among them. The article below from ten days ago (it also includes a transcribed interview with his wife) says the archives were public. If he did anything, my guess is that he stumbled upon a document that was supposed to be classified but wasn't. I don't know. Then again, we can't rationalize the irrational; it's quite possible that he did nothing wrong. Perhaps the simplest explanation
  10. First, perhaps it'll provide some comfort knowing that even the most advanced writers struggle with issues like this. It's difficult, plain and simple. It's never a breeze. Second, read, read, read. And when you read, pay particular attention to the structure of the text. Does the structure make sense? Does it flow? Is it logical? If you feel that a paragraph would've fit better in another place, write it in the margins. Don't be afraid to critique it. Third, take notes on what structures you like. Write your praises in the margins. This will give you a sense of what to emulate when
  11. Your Arabic has to be excellent for a PhD program in North African history. Your French should also be spot-on. Moreover, if you're interested in early Islamic history, then your German also needs to be quite good. (Many secondary sources in early Islamic history are in German and have yet to be translated.) But yeah, I wouldn't consider a PhD in North African history with weak Arabic just like I wouldn't consider a PhD in East Asian history with weak Mandarin. Your best bet is to go the MA route.
  12. Of course. A publication is a publication. Don't feel "less than" for doing it either. You have a leg up on most other applicants, because most other applicants have a blank CV coming out of their undergrad program.
  13. Earning a PhD in the UK usually takes about three years. This is obviously attractive to anyone who has seen how long it takes to earn one in the United States. But what if you're interested in American history? More specifically, what if you're interested in American history but not from a British perspective? Your archives, conferences, and contacts would be 3,500 miles away. Is the trade-off worth it knowing that you'll finish in only three years? Do you know anyone who has done this?
  14. I'll tackle this one. First, your philosophy training will probably lead you to ask big questions. And it's fine to ask the big questions. They need to be addressed. But historical research asks a particular question and uses primary sources to make an argument. The thesis is the argument they're making. Primary sources are sources from the period you are analyzing. (You can call these original documents, or things you examine when you want to do history.) Secondary sources on the other hand are sources that analyze the period or event after the fact. The Declaration of Independence and Locke'
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